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May 21, 2015

Top German court wants higher sentence in Rwanda genocide case

BERLIN (Reuters) – A Rwandan already behind bars for assisting a massacre in Rwanda could face life in prison after Germany’s top court said he was also guilty of the graver crime of actively participating in genocide.

Onesphore Rwabukombe, who has lived in Germany since 2002, was a mayor in north Rwanda at the time of the 1994 genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by dominant Hutu forces in 100 days.

May 19, 2015

Merkel backs coalition partner after spy scandal rifts

BERLIN (Reuters) – Conservative German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had a good working relationship with her Social Democrat (SPD) deputy after he homed in on her role in a row over the activities of the BND spy agency, which has put strains on their right-left coalition.

The expression of support for SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel came after a senior member of Merkel’s party talked openly for the first time of the potential breakup of the coalition due to the scandal, which has dented the chancellor’s popularity.

May 5, 2015

Spying row wrecks harmony in Merkel’s right-left coalition

BERLIN (Reuters) – German conservatives warned their Social Democrat (SPD) partners on Tuesday not to score points in a row over the activities of the BND intelligence agency after an attack on Chancellor Angela Merkel by the SPD chief threatened unity in the coalition.

Sigmar Gabriel pushed Merkel into the spotlight on Monday over allegations that the BND had helped the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on European firms and officials. [ID:nL5N0XV2DL}

Apr 30, 2015

Germans listen to fading voices of war’s last survivors

BERLIN (Reuters) – Huddled with her younger brother and scores of other children in a Berlin bunker, Gisela Teichmann was gripped by fear rather than relief when the German army capitulated 70 years ago on May 8, 1945, bringing the war in Europe to an end.

“There was no rejoicing. We were scared. The Russians were here, we were awfully frightened of them,” recalls the 80-year-old west Berliner whose father was killed on the Russian Front.

Apr 15, 2015

After 70 years, over 40 pct of Germans want closure on Nazi past

BERLIN, April 15 (Reuters) – Seventy years after the end of
World War Two, some 42 percent of Germans want to draw a line
under the Nazi past, a poll showed on Wednesday, as the nation’s
complex legacy continues to shape its international role and
domestic politics.

On the day that survivors of the Bergen-Belsen concentration
camp gather to mark the anniversary of its liberation, the Forsa
poll showed that 58 percent of Germans were unwilling to limit
or end their exposure to the history of the war.

Apr 12, 2015

Fight racist demons, top EU lawmaker says at Nazi camp ceremony

BERLIN (Reuters) – The head of the European Parliament implored citizens to fight the “demons” of racism and anti-Semitism that still haunt Europe in a speech to mark the liberation of Germany’s Buchenwald concentration camp 70 years ago.

Buchenwald, near the city of Weimar, was the biggest concentration camp on German soil. Set up by Hitler’s SS in 1937, it held more than 250,000 Jews, Roma, homosexuals and other people not tolerated by the Nazis. More than 56,000 people died there from torture, medical experiments and starvation.

Apr 8, 2015

Germany’s PEGIDA eyes political office with mayoral candidacy

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s anti-Islam PEGIDA group called on supporters on Wednesday to back a defector from the eurosceptic AfD party running for mayor of Dresden in PEGIDA’s first shot at political office.

After drawing around 25,000 to weekly marches in the eastern city of Dresden at the height of its popularity in January, PEGIDA fell into disarray when leader Lutz Bachmann resigned after a photo of him posing as Hitler was published.

Apr 2, 2015

Germanwings pilot hid from doctors he was still flying

BERLIN (Reuters) – The Germanwings co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing an airliner in the French Alps allegedly lied to doctors, telling them he was on sick leave rather than flying commercial planes, German daily Bild reported on Thursday.

The revelation came as Germany set up a task force to learn safety lessons from the crash which killed 150 people last week.

Mar 19, 2015

Pressure mounts on Merkel over Greek war reparations calls

BERLIN (Reuters) – Greek demands for billions of euros in reparations for the brutal Nazi occupation in World War Two may be falling on deaf ears in the German government, but some legal experts say Athens has grounds for a case.

The emotive issue is bound to come up when Alexis Tsipras visits Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin for the first time as prime minister on Monday, in an atmosphere poisoned by charges of broken promises and personal jibes between their ministers.

Mar 12, 2015

German court fines relatives for abducting gay Muslim

BERLIN, March 12 (Reuters) – A German court fined the father
and two uncles of an 18-year-old Muslim citizen for depriving
him of his personal freedom when he was a minor in an attempt,
the victim says, to force him into marriage with a woman despite
his homosexuality.

In a case highlighting the problems Germany faces in
integrating its four-million-strong Muslim community, Nasser
El-Ahmad, who has a Lebanese background, has also told German
media that his family tortured him for being gay.

    • About Madeline

      "Madeline has been a correspondent in the Berlin bureau since 2006. Before that, she was a parliamentary correspondent in London and an equities reporter in Frankfurt. She has also worked in Vienna and for a variety of UK newspapers."
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